10 THINGS EVERY PROGRAMMER SHOULD KNOW

Every aspiring software engineer and a CSE student wants to be a successful programmer in their career, but it takes certain special skills that make them an established programmer, today, let’s see what it is….!

1) Data Structures and Algorithms

To become a programmer one has to know what is a data structure and algorithms well. This is one of the most important topics for any programming job interviews and without the above knowledge on basic data structures, it’s not possible to write a real-world application.

That’s why every programmer should put a serious effort to learn data structures and algorithms during their computer science course.

If you are a self-taught programmer, then also you must know data structures and algorithms; in fact, many programming boot camp will teach you data structures and algorithms as the first thing.

2) Source Control

Source control is used to store code and if you want to become a coder or software developer, you must know the version control tools like Git and SVN.

Thankfully Git and GitHub have streamlined the market and now more than 70% of organizations use Git, so one can probably get away by just learning Git.

By the way, you should put some effort into learning Git well, and you should be comfortable with advanced version control concepts like branching and merging as well as the tool itself using both the command line and GUI.

3) Text Editors

It is one of the essential tools even for non-programmers and anyone who works with computers.

I have mostly used Notepad on Windows and VI in Linux, but you have a lot of choices available in terms of advanced editors like Sublime and Notepad++, which provides IDE-like functionalities.

I suggest you spend some time learning your favorite editor and keyboard shortcuts, productivity tips are something you can learn.

4) IDEs

The modern IDE is the single most important tool for any programmers. For C, C++, and C# programmer, the choice is clear: Visual Studio. And for Python developers, Jupiter Notebook is getting better and better every day.

For Java programmers, there are three major IDEs to choose: Eclipse, NetBeans, and IntelliJ. While Eclipse is my favorite, IntelliJ IDEA is not bad at all.

5) Database and SQL

SQL is a classic. It’s been around for more than 30 years and it will be around for another 30 years. Given the omnipresence of the database, it’s expected from a program that he is familiar with essential database concepts like normalization and table design along with SQL.

There are many databases, but knowing just one is enough. The key point is that you should be familiar with the database. You should know how to insert/update/delete data and write SQL queries to retrieve it.

Knowledge of advanced concepts like joining an aggregate function is an added advantage.

6) UNIX or Linux

Like SQL, UNIX also has withstood the test of time. It’s also been around for more than 30 years and I hope it will be there for many more coming years. Since most programmers have to work in a UNIX machine at some point, a good knowledge of Linux command line goes a long way.

7) Microsoft Excel

Excel is one of the king tools for programmers, software developers, project manager, traders, and business guys. It’s much more than just spreadsheet software. It provides many useful features and functions to perform sophisticated data analysis. Excel is used to track progress, reconcile data, data analysis, data quality checks and for project planning.

It has several uses and that’s why every programmer to learn Excel in depth. Instead of just copying and pasting data, you should know basic functions like searching, sorting, filtering and VLOOKUP to compare stuff.

8) Programming Languages

As a programmer, you one know programming languages like C, C++ or Java, Python, etc. One can be strong in any of these languages, but he/she should have minimum knowledge of C and Java.

It’s very easy to start with and that’s why a good choice for beginners. It’s also immensely powerful and allows you to do virtually anything.

9) Networking Basics

Today’s world is an interconnected world and anywhere you go, you will find computer networks, starting from your home, where you are using Wi-Fi across many devices, to schools, college, and offices which use Local Area Network (LAN) to the Internet.

Most of the applications you will write will also not be standalone but client-server kind of application where the request will go through the network to a server. Clients will access your application from anywhere in the world.

The bottom line is that you must understand the networking basics to understand, develop, and support your application.

10) Scripting Languages

In point #8 I asked to learn a programming language, and yet here I am asking to learn a scripting language? Why? Can the same programming language not be used as a scripting language?

Well, there are certainly some languages which are good for both OOP coding and scripting like Python, and that’s why I asked you to learn it at least. But if you happen to learn C/C++ or Java then you can’t whip out something as quickly as a Python or Perl developer can do.

Bhavani Peri

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